Enter Cities Unlocked, a project intended to help people with sight loss navigate cities. The brainchild of a blind Microsoft employee, it uses GPS, a 3D audio headset, and Bluetooth beacons, among other technologies. [...]
“I’m a blind person, I need to keep my ears open,” she says. The headset uses bone-conducting technology, in which vibrations create a “3D soundscape” around the user. — nextcity.org
In fact, as many as 600 million birds die in window collisions in the U.S. and Canada every year, scientists estimate. [...]
A growing awareness of the threats to bird populations has prompted new laws and voluntary guidelines in cities from Toronto to San Francisco. Along with "green" building programs, these new rules are spurring demand for bird-friendly glass among architects, glass manufacturers, and their clients. — news.nationalgeographic.com
In case you haven't checked out Archinect's Pinterest boards in a while, we have compiled ten recently pinned images from outstanding projects on various Archinect Firm and People profiles.(Tip: use the handy FOLLOW feature to easily keep up-to-date with all your favorite Archinect...
Are you in a hurry to catch your flight and still need to find a parking place? Meet Ray, a shiny robot that parks your car at Düsseldorf Airport in Germany.
Ray makes sure you don’t have to park miles away from the terminal, eliminating the hassle of finding a parking place. Just drop off your car within a few meters from the check-in area [...]. When you come back from a holiday or business trip, the robot will make sure your car is ready to go when you walk out of the airport. — popupcity.net
This new, partly digital sand table interface developed for military planning would seem to have some pretty awesome uses in an architecture or landscape design studio.
Using 3D terrain data—in the military's case, gathered in real-time from its planetary network of satellites—and a repurposed Kinect sensor, the system can adapt to hand-sculpted transformations in the sand by projecting new landforms and elevations down onto those newly molded forms. — BLDGBLOG
Birds have remarkable flight capabilities...They make it look effortless, but engineering a drone to do the same is anything but. It’s a major engineering feat to harness the evolutionary talents of a bird and translate them into a robot that can deliver packages to your doorstep. By understanding how birds have mastered the ability to swoop and dive, [Stanford professor David] Lentink and his team [of mechanical engineers] hope to inform microdrone design. — Al Jazeera
Similar to biomimicry (and its correspondent field of architectural thinking), bio-inspired design takes it cues from biological systems, although it entails simplification, enhancement and non-mimetic adaptation of observed phenomena rather than replication. Bio-inspired robotics, specifically...
The reasons for designing and flying vehicles that are capable of global reach in the time taken to read the morning newspaper are technically attractive and militarily obvious. The economic and social justifications are perhaps less easily pinned down, but are nonetheless compelling. What will be the impact of treating Sydney as a commuter suburb for Beijing, or of being able to visit Antipodean gran for Sunday roast – with a serious prospect of being home in time for dinner and telly? — Washington Post
It was only a matter of time before someone saw the commercial potential of drones. Their compact size and swift mobility makes them ideal vehicles for transporting goods and information around the crowded streets of a city.
Amazon has recently been testing the potential for drone deliveries, but Russian creative agency Hungry Boys’ campaign has brought a new dimension to both advertising and drone use. — popupcity.net
In collaboration with fifteen poets and community activists from StartUp Box South Bronx, I recently created Memories of the Future, a location-based cinema project viewed on mobile phones. The group experimented with spoken word poetry, site specific performance, and on-site spectatorship to reframe the predominant view of Hunts Point and speak about possibilities for its future from a position of power. — urbanomnibus.net
Two months ago, after much lobbying by the biggest satellite company in North America, DigitalGlobe, the US government relaxed restrictions to allow for commercially available satellite imagery up to 25 cm resolution—twice as detailed as the previous limit of 50 cm [...] The extra sharp images from Worldview-3 will greatly increase the maps' level of detail to the point where it can make out 10-inch objects, which means Google will soon be able to see “manholes and mailboxes” [...] — Motherboard
DigitalGlobe launched the first commercial satellite yesterday. Google, Microsoft, and several US government agencies are customers of DigitalGlobe. Such sharp images would be able to make out human faces, which, coupled with facial recognition software, could start to sound like a sci-fi...
But the intricate fantasy environments imagined for games like GTA V may well prove more useful than they seem. Now the technologies and tools developed by this multibillion dollar entertainment industry are making changes in the real world.
John Isaacs, a lecturer in computing at the University of Abertay, is one of those exploring the possibilities of game engines. In 2011, he developed an urban mapping application for his PhD project. — theguardian.com
Enter the UltraRope, a new kind of lift cable developed by Finnish elevator company Kone. Eschewing woven steel cable in favour of carbon fibre, the UltraRope is described as “lift-hoisting technology” [...]. Strong and lightweight, the UltraRope will supposedly allow lifts to travel up to 1km in a single run, double what’s currently possible with a steel cable. The UltraRope is 90% lighter than the equivalent steel cable, thereby reducing the load and enabling far taller continuous runs. — theguardian.com
A Motor City Mapping app will make it possible for users to snap photos of properties and text them to the public database. (They are trying to brand a new word to describe this process — the awful-sounding “blexting.”) These will be quality-checked before going onto the database, and the hope is that users will participate in training sessions before pointing, clicking and sending. Several “blexting bootcamps,” will be held in coming weeks. — nextcity.org
The North Carolina Museum of Art on Tuesday received a $1.9 million grant from the State Employees’ Credit Union Foundation for art education research. The grant will establish a high-tech education center that will serve as a portal for accessing the museum’s collection, exhibitions and programs. — WRAL
Ever since I spotted FiftyThree's beautifully designed iPad pen, aptly called “Pencil”, I couldn't wait to get my hands on one (like literally).Made by the creators of the award-winning “Paper” drawing and sketching app for the iPad, Pencil is promised to be “the most natural and...
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